Chedburgh man who received pioneering surgery to remove brain tumour shares video of procedure

Christopher Revens in hospital with a surprise card from Ipswich Town F.C
Christopher Revens in hospital with a surprise card from Ipswich Town F.C

A Chedburgh man who received pioneering surgery to remove a brain tumour is encouraging people to support a vital campaign which funded the life-saving procedure.

Christopher Revens, 34, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in July and had surgery the following month in a clinical trial supported by Stand Up To Cancer.

Before the operation at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, he drank medication which made the cancer cells glow bright pink to help surgeons identify and remove all of the tumour and stop the disease returning.

The former County Upper School student allowed the surgery to be filmed to highlight the importance of Stand Up To Cancer’s fund-raising for clinical trials.

The clinical trial at Addenbrooke’s was led by neurosurgeon Dr Colin Watts.

Mr Revens, who had been suffering from frequent headaches before the tumour was discovered, said: “It was a real shock when I was diagnosed. I tried to be positive for my friends and family but it was hard to take it all in. I’ve been amazed at how quickly I’ve recovered. I had the operation at 8:30am on the Friday morning and I was back on the ward that afternoon and discharged home two days later.

Neurosurgeon Dr Colin Watts who led the clinical trial. Picture by Simon Way. ANL-161027-104016001

Neurosurgeon Dr Colin Watts who led the clinical trial. Picture by Simon Way. ANL-161027-104016001

“Talking was a bit tricky at first and the reflexes on my right side were slow but after a few days of steroids I regained full function. I’m now back at work and I feel absolutely fine .

“It was strange seeing the video of my operation. I did think it might be more gruesome but it was okay. It’s made me think about the research and hope more people will get involved and donate if they can.”

Mr Revens made a phased return to work at Sealey Power Products, in Kempson Way, where he is a senior parts co-ordinator, just seven weeks after his surgery. He has had scans which showed no signs of the brain tumour and his condition will be monitored.

The video formed part of this year’s Stand Up To Cancer campaign, which is run by Cancer Research UK and Channel 4.